As I sit down to type this letter to you, it dawns on me that one day you will be old enough to read this. Just as these precious months are flying by at alarming speed, so will those that are yet to come. And soon you will be a toddler with pigtails in your hair who will morph into a preschooler (with all the attitude of famous diva), and then an independent first-grader, a (cocky) teenager and eventually a beautiful (and hopefully wise) young woman. It’s the way the world works and something moms have come to accept the world over.
I wish with all my heart that I could hold on to these moments forever and that in some way you could stay the small, innocent one-year-old you are right now. My heart aches with the knowing that you will never be as small as you are right now. That even as you nap right now you are growing and that by the time I put you to sleep tonight, you would have grown a fraction more. Do I want to stop the clock? So may times in a day, yes. Does it terrify me? Sure it does, but not as much as it used to.
You see as much as I want to hold on to every little aspect of your life right now, I’m also realising that with each precious phase there is so much to look forward to. As much as it saddens me that I will never know the feeling of your tiny newborn body in my arms again, or experience those first smiles and gurgles, right now there are so many other things I get to experience with you.
I get to hold your spongy little hand as you walk beside me, exploring our garden. I get to feel you wrap you little arms around my neck as you hug me. I get to watch you learn and make sense of the world around you, mastering skills you didn’t know you had yesterday. I get to listen to you say my name…”Mama” and answer “No-noh” to all my questions. I get to make you laugh by pulling funny faces and tickling your chubby tummy after bath time. I get to see you engage and play with your big brothers, so part of the action now. I get to see so much of your beautiful personality shinning through and my darling, it’s a sight to behold.
And while there are so many lasts with your first year behind us there are so many firsts eagerly awaiting us. It’s been the most incredible thing witnessing you learning to walk, becoming stable on your two little feet and work with such determination to put one foot in front of the other. First steps, first words, first foods, first experiences. It only seems to be getting better.
We loved celebrating your first birthday with some special friends and it was the perfect day! We shopped and you had our first baby chino with gaga and I. We ate cake, had photos taken, and mommy had her mama friends around for cake and bubbly! In true Hunter style you were over-tired come party time but it was the perfect day, relaxed and special beyond words.
As I said, as much as it was YOUR birthday it was also my day because it signified so much for me. For so many years I dreamed of you baby girl and the day I found out that I was carrying you, my little girl, was like a dream. As was every moment after that : Giving birth to you was one of the most incredible moments of my life, where in a single moment I felt the gravity of what it meant to have that dream become a reality. Bringing you home, feeding you, bathing you, getting to know you. Oh my how I fell in love with you in ways I never imagined.
And now it’s been a year of you. A year of getting to know you and discovering so many things about you. The joy you bring to my heart is like no other my Hunter Grace. You have changed me in ways I could never accurately describe and I will never stop thanking God for you.
To my big boys, Noah and Brody, thank you for being the sweetest, most caring and most protective brothers to your little sister. Watching you dote over her and fall in love with her has brought tears of joy to my mama eyes. It’s made me fall even deeper in love with you guys too!! You are my first loves and will always be my number one boys. Please always know how proud I am of you.
More pictures of your first birthday celebrations….. Images taken by my lovely and talented friend Angi Whittle Photography.